Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Etouffée [ay-too-FAY]

March 11th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Crawfish Etouffée Montage Image

This is one of those Cajun dishes that always brings back memories of when times were good, no I mean great! But I really believe anytime is a great time, even in this state of the world with it’s economic woes. I have air in my lungs, water in my glass, fire to heat my food and the blessings of the Holy Spirit, another day of life is better than to not have lived!

OK, on with the etouffée….Aieeee!

In the Food Lovers Companion, Second Edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst, published by Barron’s (1995) and found on page 205 is the definition of this sauce.

etouffée; à l’etouffée [ay-too-FAY] This popular CAJUN dish is a thick, spicy stew of CRAYFISH and vegetables served over white rice. Its rich, deep color and flavor come from the dark brown ROUX on which it’s based. The word etouffée comes from the French étouffer which means “to smother” or “to suffocate.” The term à l’etouffée refers to the method of cooking food in a minute amount of liquid, tightly covered and over very low heat. This method is also call à l’étuvée.

The first recipe is one that I make at home, and it is perfect for 1 pound of crawfish tail meat or 1 pound of shrimps. The second recipe is from the one we used to make years ago in the Columns Hotel Restaurant, back in the day I was the Sous Chef and we used a lot of bacon fat in our Cajun and Creole dishes. Heck, it was free, as long as we saved it when we cooked the bacon, and it adds so much flavor to the dish too. But in today’s home style recipe I use butter. The last recipe is one from the Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans where I was an apprentice for my first 2 of 3 years; and my last duties before moving to the Columns Hotel was that of the Saucier in the main kitchen for all food operations of the facility.

So here you have it, a trifecta of etouffée recipes that span over 26 years from my culinary and Cajun heritage. Each of the two professional recipes had different uses, the Columns Hotel version was made in small batches for restaurant standards. The Crawfish Etouffée was used in a seafood combination plate which also had a portion of blackened redfish and portion of crabmeat imperial which was served in a ramekin. The version from the Hyatt was made in large steam jacketed kettles and the shrimp or crawfish was added at service time in the Courtyard Restaurant, Top of the Dome Restaurant or for banquet dinner functions, where on occasion the recipe was doubled or tripled depending on the size of the banquet party.

Let’s get started smothering some crawfish or shrimp, the two typical crustaceans that end up in such a fine mess. By the way, my favorite etouffée is the crawfish version, which is the one I am sharing with you today!

Crawfish Etouffée – Home style

Yield: ½ gallon, or approximately 6 to 8 entree portions

Ingredients
4 Ounces Butter, (1 stick)
1 Cup Yellow onions, medium diced
1 Cup Green onions, chopped (divided)
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1 Each Bay leaf
2 Ribs Celery, medium diced
1 Medium Green bell pepper, medium diced
½ Cup Parsley, fresh, chopped (divided)
1 Tbsp Thyme, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp Basil, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp Rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Cup All purpose flour
½ Cup Red wine
½ Cup White wine
½ Gal Shrimp or chicken stock
½ Tbsp Crystal hot sauce
½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Lb Crawfish tails with fat
To taste Salt and white pepper
Procedure Steps
1. Heat the butter and then sauté the yellow onions and a ½ cup green onions, garlic and bay leaf until onions are soft.
2. Add the celery and the bell pepper and continue to sauté until soft and translucent.
3. Add the fresh herbs including ½ the parsley, the paprika and cayenne pepper and stir well.
4. Add the flour and stir to incorporate and absorb any liquid. Then whisk in both the red and white wine and then the stock until smooth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Add the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.
6. Fold in the crawfish tails and heat through then season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
Notes: Serve 8 ounces of the sauce over fresh steamed or boiled white or brown rice

Crawfish Etouffée – Columns Hotel Restaurant on St. Charles Avenue
Circa 1985 – 1987

Sous Chef

Yield: 1 ½ gallons, or approximately 20 entree portions

Ingredients
1 Cup Bacon grease, hot
1 ½ Cups Yellow onions, medium diced
2 ½ Cups Green onions, chopped (divided)
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
2 Each Bay leaves
6 Ribs Celery, medium diced
2 Each Green bell peppers, medium diced
1 Cup Red wine
1 Cup White wine
½ Cup Thyme, fresh, chopped
½ Cup Basil, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
1 Gal Volute sauce
3 Tbsp Crystal hot sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 Lbs Crawfish tails with fat
To taste Salt and white pepper
Procedure Steps
1. Heat the bacon grease and then sauté the yellow onions and 1 ½ cups green onions, garlic and bay leaves until onions are soft.
2. Add the celery and the bell pepper and continue to sauté until soft and translucent.
3. Add the wine and sweat the vegetables for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the fresh herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper and stir well.
5. Add the volute sauce and stir well and heat to a simmer.
6. Add the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.
7. Fold in the crawfish tails and heat through then season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
8. Garnish with the remaining 1 cup green onion.
Notes: Serve over fresh steamed or boiled white or brown rice

Etouffée Sauce – Hyatt Regency Hotel New Orleans
Circa 1983 – 1985
Saucier in main kitchen

Yield: 7 gallons sauce or approximately 110 entree portions

Ingredients
1 Lb Margarine
4 Bunch Green onions, chopped (divided)
2 Bunch Parsley, finely chopped (divided)
1 Cup Garlic, Minced
6 Lbs Yellow onions, medium diced
6 Lbs. Celery, medium diced
6 Lbs. Green bell pepper, medium diced
4 Each Bay leaves
1 Lb All purpose flour
1 Tbsp Thyme, dry leaves
1 Tbsp Oregano, dry leaves
2 Cups Red wine
2 Cups White wine
2 Cans Diced tomatoes (#10 cans, or approximately 1.5 gallons)
4 Gal Brown sauce
1 Tbsp Crystal hot sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
To taste Salt and white pepper
Procedure Steps
1. Melt margarine and sauté ½ the green onions, ½ the parsley and the garlic for a few minutes.
2. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and bay leaves, sauté until soft.
3. Add the flour and stir in well to mix and to absorb the liquid.
4. Add the herbs and cook another 5 minutes.
5. Add the two wines and the diced tomatoes and stir well.
6. Add the brown sauce, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and stir well, and bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
7. Add the remaining ½ of the green onions and ½ the parsley for garnish. Season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
Notes: Add 4 ounces 70/90 count shrimp or 4 ounces crawfish tail meat per 8 ounce portion of sauce depending on the menu item being served. In sauce pan heat until shrimp are pink or crawfish tail meat and sauce is heated through. Serve over 1 cup of steamed rice bowl shape in middle of plate. Garnish with fresh green onion flower.
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Tags: Cajun · Entrees · French Cuisine · Recipes · Seafood

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ivyliacNo Gravatar // Mar 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    To be frank I first heard of the term Cajun from your blog and searched the net to find out what it is. The recipe sounds delicious and I love all the ingredients in it. I’ll have to try it with olive oil or margarine as I am fasting and anything derived from animals is not allowed.

  • 2 Ryan BoudreauxNo Gravatar // Mar 13, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Ivy,
    Yes, olive oil is a fine substitution for the etouffée recipes. We have been observing Lent and trying our best to eat only seafood especially on Friday’s.

    Regards,
    CCR =:~)

  • 3 AngieNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

    This looks so amazing!

  • 4 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Angie,

    So glad that you like the Etouffée recipe, and thank you for commenting on my blog this morning.

    Bon appétit!

    Ryan Boudreaux
    Cajun Chef Ryan

  • 5 pegasuslegendNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    the aroma must be heavenly looks fabulous!